US mortgage applications drop for fourth week in a row

The number of mortgage applications in the US fell again this week. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) index fell 0.3 per cent to 449.6, versus last week's 2.8 per cent fall to 451.1.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity includes both refinancing and home purchase demand.

Today's numbers present a slightly different story from yesterday's positive housing numbers: the Case-Shiller index reported prices up 2.4 per cent in the quarter to September, and up 11.2 per cent on the year - the strongest increase since 2006.

But Capital Economics’ Paul Diggle thinks the boost to the market could be temporary: “The increase in house prices already seen is bringing hesitant and previously sidelined sellers back to the market, helping to drive a loosening in supply conditions.”